The Department of Water and Sanitation in KwaZulu-Natal has ramped up its water and hygiene products supply to communities, as a means of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
According to the provincial department, to date, 4 200 water storage tanks and 532 water tankers have been distributed to various district and local municipalities in the province.
"Distribution of water tanks in KwaZulu-Natal is done jointly with the provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as Umgeni and Mhlathuze Water Boards.
"The tanks have already been installed in different areas to ensure that communities have direct access to water and are able to practice a healthy routine of washing hands with water and soap," the department said.
Umzinyathi District Municipality has the highest number of water tanks delivered at 450, followed by Harry Gwala and eThekwini District Municipalities with 350 and 300, respectively.
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has appealed to community members in the province to protect the water tanks provided to them, and not to vandalise them.
She also reiterated the call for citizens to wash their hands regularly with soap to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
"We have worked around the clock to ensure everyone has water. Strides have been made in providing water to a number of distressed areas.
"We, however, call on the communities to take care of the tanks, and report criminal activities done against these water tanks, whether it is theft or destruction of the tanks," Sisulu said.
The Minister has further reminded the communities to continue to practice restraint when using water.
"While you are washing your hands, keep in mind that South Africa is a water scarce country and therefore, you should avoid water wastage. Let us save this precious water resource we have currently.
"We do encourage people to practice the habit of washing their hands regularly, especially during this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic, but let us also use this water prudently," Sisulu said.
Over 7 000 sanitisers distributed
Meanwhile, the department has distributed hygiene goods, including 7 500 hand sanitisers, 100 face masks, 40 disposable cover suits, and 2 300 bars of soap to various community members in the country.
The distribution of these hygiene goods will enable community members to protect themselves by practicing good hygienic practices.